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How to stay safe on the roads in this terrible hazy weather

Haze in Malaysia

The haze is not looking like it will get any better soon. Schools are being closed and people are advised to stay indoors as the air pollution index in many areas in the country stay above the 150 mark.

The situation is so bad that the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) offers several advice to motorists on how to stay safe while driving in these hazy conditions.

Advising road users to be careful when driving in the haze, MIROS director-general Dr. Siti Zaharah Ishak said precautions should be taken to address the reduced visibility.

“Motorcyclists should wear brightly coloured or self-illuminating jackets and motorists should avoid stopping at illegal areas for their own safety.

“Pedestrians must always be aware of their surroundings as motorists may not be able to see them clearly and to only cross at designated areas,” she said in a statement.

She added that as an extra precaution, motorists should inspect their headlights to ensure they are functioning and to turn these on to increase their visibility to other road users.

However, she reminded road users to refrain from using their high-beams unless necessary as the particles in the air doing can reflect the light beams back to the driver and cause glare.

If visibility is severely limited, Dr. Siti Zaharah recommends using your car’s front fog lights to make your vehicle more visible to other road users.

She also advised motorists to be extra careful even when driving on familiar roads and to adjust their usual driving habits to suit the conditions.

“In situations where visibility is limited, the normal speed limit may be considered too fast. A slower driving speed will allow one to react better when needed,” she said.

Siti Zaharah said the normal safe distance between vehicles may also be extended from four seconds to 12 seconds.

“This is crucial to allow one to react by braking or manoeuvring suddenly in emergency situations,” she said.

Raging forest fires across Indonesia are thought to be responsible for the current transboundary haze that has also engulfed Singapore and Brunei. — Malay Mail